Back to Basics
Jeana reflects on the past five years and talks about her break from "reality."
The show was a lot of fun for 4 years, I have lots of great memories to take with me, made tons of friends all over the world, and I have a 5-year video of my crazy life that is being syndicated. Scott Dunlop’s little show about “Behind the Gates” has really taken on a life of its own. It has turned out very different from his dream, and more like a societal experiment in the weirdest culture ever. Can you imagine hundreds of years from now some race finding the episode of “you gold digging whore, you aren’t my friend?” What in the world will they think? It’s time to take my newfound celebrity status and try to make a difference in the OC. Start small, I always say.
Why did I leave the show? Well now I need to take time to focus on my career and my family. Filming took up so much summer time, coincidentally the most lucrative time of year for real estate and it cut into my salary significantly. The recession didn’t help of course. And remember this isn’t like Desperate Housewives - I am not getting killed off or anything like that. Slade came back, so I'm not ruling anything out in regards to the future. I did feel I wasn’t being appreciated, and I am older then the other girls and we have different interests.
Gretchen enjoys the nightlife and all the newest hottest parties. After years of sadness she is ready to move ahead in her wonderful life with Slade. I wish them well in their quest for marriage, babies and the whole enchilada. Tamra and Alexis have their sweet babies, their husbands, and the gym. Lynne was doing all cuffs ahead, but struggled with moving homes twice and dealing with teen tantrums and her husband’s job slow down. This is not unlike every other American these days - just much more public. Vicki traveled extensively for fun and work all summer, and dealt with Brianna’s illness. She is still a two-income family, so I imagine she doesn’t feel the pinch as bad as the others.
For me, the housewives' "reality" was just too much drama as a group, not allowing enough quality time with my family, and not enough substance in my relationship with the girls. I would go out with the girls for the evening, and come home depressed. I started seeing Rebecca, and Ben, Frankie, Trevor, Keith and Chaz - my "back-up dancers" as my boyfriend refers to them. Through them I got my happy place back again. When I am alone, I am depressed and eating and not working out. I missed my boyfriend terribly; dating a man who is geographically undesirable is very hard.
I evaluated my life and got back to basics: holding Open Houses, marketing meetings with Tom Ferry, my business coach twice weekly. I got my Vision board together with my wish list and started checking things off. Get a agent, get a writer for my book, expand my role with Duzoxin which is rapidly developing into as a premiere product in the market and helps me tremendously in getting back on track with their new "Do YOU" campaign (which by the way means lots of contests and giveaways for my fans - so be sure and see my blog for news about that at jeanakeough.blogspot.com). My Duzoxin weight loss regiment combines wonderfully with Smooth Shapes which helps gets rid of that cellulite which seems to never leave despite how much weight you lose. I'm a spokesperson for them also and highly endorse them both. Just Google to find out more about each. I had people always coming up to me saying I inspired them to lose weight, get a job in Real Estate, and that they admired my parenting, and how helpful I was in explaining short sales and loan modifications. I love public speaking and sharing my successes, so becoming a spokesperson for products that I believe in has been a natural move for me and a new part of my career.
I do not own a moving company but I should invest in one! I moved Shane from AZ to Stockton, Kara out of Berkeley and into UCLA, and then Matt out to Irvine then to AZ, then back to California, in a 3 month period. I HATE packing and my kids think only Mom can do it. As a result of dating a man who worked out of town, all my kids being busy and my girlfriends from the show were filming constantly and not having time for me, I occupied myself in other ways like taking cooking lessons from Chaz Bradley, and it is now a passion with me. I am so excited Ryan Scott from Top Chef is going to give me lesson’s this month! And Chef Chaz is helping me create a wonderful unique Thanksgiving experience. I love all my other Bravo friends from the other shows, Housewives, Top Chefs, Shear Genius, Project Runway, My life on the D List. I will always be apart of the Bravo Family, as I am a part of the Playboy family.
I am now dating a wonderful man that makes me think about myself, without feeling guilty. That forces me to slow down and enjoy life, in its simplicity. I am not sure where it will take me but it is an adventure I am ready to go on. My mother lived for us, she never bought herself anything, we were her world, we were first and she never took time for herself, I never heard her have a date night, a spa day or lunch with the girls. That created an unreal expectation I put on myself. I never felt I did enough for my kids. Being Mom and Dad and feeling guilty, made me over compensate financially. When I couldn’t give them as much as I used too, they all revolted for a few months. We are in a better place now, their opinion’s are important in making financial decisions and they like being part of the family decisions. Our vacations were to Bakersfield, and Stockton to see Shane play, and the beach and the backyard, instead of the usual Mexico and New York. I felt like I was not taking care of myself. Instead of working out, I was going to Shane’s games, Colton’s games, Kara’s boyfriend’s games, spreading my self to thin and eating the wrong foods. That has changed. Now I am working out again, eating right, taking Duzoxin and taking time for myself. I can even say no to people now, which is liberating. I never said no to anyone before.
I have only this year with my baby, Colton. He is a senior in high school, and he will most likely go to college far away. He was missing being with me and having me around. He has always been my anchor, my rock and I really abandoned him in his junior year. When he got wheels and freedom I felt he could handle the world and I didn’t need to micromanage him. I was wrong, he did several attention getting things, and point taken I stopped everything to get my life and his back on track. I was possessed with travel, work, hair, nails and TV filming.
The whole Tamra, Gretchen thing, it is their thing and they can deal with it. Tamra did apologize in the end, on E! Entertainment at the end of the season. As I have always said, if you can’t say something positive, helpful or educational, say nothing. Don’t drunk dial! Tamra and the others I am sure want me to be happy and only asked about Matt out of concern for him and curiosity if I was dating anyone special. I helped her a lot this summer with her issues with Simon, and both of them have helped me also.
As for the comment made by Vicki that I "start a lot of drama," you would have to ask her for an explanation. In watching 4 years of the show, I don’t see one incident I started but she is entitled to her opinion. In regards to her "toxic" comment, who knows in what context it was made? Editing something shot 6 months ago it is hard to say. I have very strong opinions on things and she and I are a both Type A personalities on overdrive, we will always clash but always be there for each other. All I know is we are leaving to go to New York together and looking forward to a little R & R and some fun times In the city with our New York counterparts. Getting ready to shoot with Wendy Williams, ABC news, and Andy Cohen on Thursday. I spent the day with Tammy Knickerbocker, and saw Quinn over the weekend, talked to Kimberley Bryant (from Season One) on Sunday and have emailed Lori a few times. We may not be as close as we once were but there is a bond we all share - being made a fool of on TV! No, I am just kidding Kathleen I promise! Thank you to Bravo. Lauren, Shari Levine, Kathleen French, Andy Cohen, Scott Dunlop, Jack, Pete, Greg and all our wonderful camera crew, sound crew and runners! What a fun experience and thanks for taking the ride with my family.
I have watched my family grow up on TV the last 5 years, we have made mistakes, shared our happiness, Kara’s making Varsity Volleyball, Editor of the yearbook, Valedictorian, getting into Berkeley, Shane getting into the Jucco World Series, getting drafted and starting his career with the Oakland A’s, his childhood dream, and maturing into a man, Colton growing up before our eye’s into a wonderful, helpful, kind and considerate young man, and did I mention great cook? Now he is working for a caterer, looking at colleges and playing baseball. And our misfortune’s, Matt’s very public struggles with alcohol, Colton’s broken nose, broken hand, my issues with loan modifications that we shared with the TV world to be a part of the answer to families struggling and to be honest about issues to show that we are like everyone else, we have high’s and lows and we get back on and try again. We aren’t perfect, but we live in the beautiful Coto de Caza, Orange County and it is everything dreams are made of and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. So even though I am saying good bye for now, you can still keep track of us here on bravotv.com or please visit me on http://jeanakeough.blogspot.com where you can keep track of what is going on in my life from this moment forward.